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Is listening the new watching?

Aliens have always fascinated us, there’s just something about the unseen that holds a great deal of allure. So when Audible UK asked us to help launch the new audio exclusive drama, Alien: River of Pain, we jumped at the opportunity.

 

Audio entertainment gives us the flexibility to delve into stories anywhere, to take some time out and just listen wherever we may be. It also allows us to take control of our entertainment. In a recent study, Emma Rodero, a communications professor at the Pompeu Fabra University explains that “Audio is one of the most intimate forms of media because you are constantly building your own images of the story in your mind – you’re creating your own production. And that of course, is something that you can never get with visual media.”

 

With this in mind, we wanted to launch Alien: River of Pain in a unique way – giving media and influencers the opportunity to have a special ‘first listen’ in an authentic, creative and immersive experience. Working with The Royal Observatory in Greenwich, we held a launch event on a windy and wet Monday. The event featured an immersive listening experience, in which the guests were treated to excerpts from the audio drama, with context provided by astronomer Tom Kerrs. The event wrapped up with an actual beaming of the full audio drama to the planet constellation the franchise is based on.

 

Mesmerised guests left with audio and listening having been key to their experience, giving them a chance to use their imagination in such a way that a standard screening activity or similar may not have done.

 

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The success of the event in part ties back to a wider consumer trend for people yearning to constantly learn, be entertained, and be “in the know” – thus the reason short form content is having such a huge surge in popularity that looks set to stay. Paul Zak, the director of the Centre for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University says “A good story, is a good story from the brain’s perspective, whether it’s audio or video or text. It’s the same kind of activation in the brain.” With this in mind, it makes sense that in an ever “busier” world we choose to access stories in the most convenient way possible.

 

Here at PrettyGreen, we’re all ears from now on.